By Colombo Telegraph –
“We, the Judicial Service Association (JSA),as the sole representative body of the judicial officers of Sri Lanka, strongly feeland record its considerable concernthat the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake did not get a fair hearing at the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) proceedingsin terms natural justice and fair trialin coming to the above finding.” says Judicial Service Association.
JSA says; “In the PSC proceedings, the Chief Justice was not allowed to exercise the basic fundamental rights enjoyed by ordinary civilians of this country as enshrined in the Constitution. Chief Justice and her lawyers were not given fair trial guarantees enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Sri Lanka is a party.”
We publish below the full text of the statement;
The Statement issued by the Judicial Service Association (JSA) of Sri Lanka on the Findings of the Parliamentary Select Committeewhich probed the allegations of misbehavior ofthe Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.
The Government members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to probe the charges contained in the impeachment motion have found the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake guilty of three charges.
We, the Judicial Service Association (JSA),as the sole representative body of the judicial officers of Sri Lanka, strongly feeland record its considerable concernthat the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake did not get a fair hearing at the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) proceedingsin terms natural justice and fair trialin coming to the above finding.
We are of the view that the PSC did not qualify in terms of the constitutional requirements to conduct an inquiry for the removal of a Chief Justice as a genuine tribunal. Such a tribunal must be an impartial judicial body. The composition, procedure and the very conduct of some members of the PSC failed to meet the basic standards expected of an impartial tribunal.
The JSA is extremely concerned and shocked about the fact that the Chief Justice was insulted and humiliated by two members of the PSC forcing the Chief Justice and her lawyers to walk out in protest against this outrageous situation. We are also concerned about the behavior of certain media institutions maintained by tax payer’s money and their conduct in contempt of PSC proceedings and also in contempt of the entire judiciary.
Security of tenure of office of judges is of paramount importance to safeguard the independence of the judiciary. United Nations Basic Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary guarantees to every judge the right to a fair hearing and an independent review of removal proceedings (Item 17 and 20). Article 12(1) of the Constitution guarantees equality and equal protection of the law and, Article 13(5) the presumption of innocence. In the PSC proceedings, the Chief Justice was not allowed to exercise the basic fundamental rights enjoyed by ordinary civilians of this country as enshrined in the Constitution. Chief Justice and her lawyers were not given fair trial guarantees enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Sri Lanka is a party.
The impeachment process has proceeded against the Chief Justice irrespective of the request made by the Supreme Court to delay proceedings until they make a determination on the question for reference made by the Court of Appeal on constitutionality of Standing Order 78A. The PSC has been appointed disregarding the objections taken on the basis of serious legal grounds – that the removal of a superior court judge should be preceded by an inquiry of an impartial tribunal consisting of judicial officers.
The Mahanayakes and the other religious dignitaries, the academics, professionals, and people from many other walks of life who, in the recent weeks, have expressed considerable concern over the impeachment process and has come under severe attack in Sri Lanka, as well as by authoritative statements from important international sources such as the Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Association of Judges and Lawyers, the United Nations, International Committee of Jurists, Law Asia and from persons of high international repute, including Sri Lanka’s most senior judge Dr. C. G. Weeramantry.
We urge His Excellency the President not to act on the findings of the PSC. We urge the Parliament to enactnecessary legislation or amend the existing Standing Orders in terms of Article 107(3) to ensure setting up of fair, transparent, and impartial tribunal which would guarantee due process to probe the allegations of misbehavior of the Chief Justice and other Apex Court Judges.
Judicial Services Association
14th December 2012
gamini / December 14, 2012
What for appointing another Committee? THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL. Latimer or No Latimer, he has committed ‘harakiri’. Get rid of the Bugger as soon as possible. MR is like a Cat on hot tin roof, wondering how to remain with the family to enjoy the fortune made to pass it to his progeny and Namal as the successor. All plans in water, now fearing his inevitable fate. Rags to Richest and Richest to Rags where they really belong.
China Doll / December 15, 2012
TIME TO TURN THE TABLES AND IMPEACH MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE and his brothers and sons and cronies – Lalith Weeratunge, Nivard Cabraal, P.B Jayasundera etc.
The Chief Justice MUST sue the PSC members who insulted her – those politicians think that they have PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGES to insult people.
The IMPUNITY AND IMMUNITY of the politicians and the Rajapassa family must be ended. They have brought great disrepute to the judiciary and the legislative and the sovereign people of Sri Lanka and must be held ACCOUNTABLE.
James Bond / December 15, 2012
THE JSC should look at options to impeach Mahinda Rajapakse for Contempt of Court over the Kangaroo Courts he and his brothers Chamal and Basil orchestrated, in the form of the PSC which has brought great disrepute to the judiciary, the legislature and the sovereign people of Sri Lanka.
Sweet dreamer / December 16, 2012
Easy and simple. Get the bar association to pass a motion of impeachment against “MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE and his brothers and sons and cronies – Lalith Weeratunge, Nivard Cabraal, P.B Jayasundera etc” unanimously, petition it to the SC, and the CJ will appoint a bench and and they will give the judgement ex-party.
Then all of you ‘buggers’ should descend to SL from wherever you are and march with NGOs and whatnots and deliver the judgement and arrest them in Toto and put them behind bars. I forgot, get the neo-colonialists to fly some drones and drop some bombs on temple trees and diyawanna. How is that eh?
Safa / December 14, 2012
The Judges have addressed an appeal on behalf of Justice and Fairness for one of its members who has been denied her fundemental rights, abused and tormented.
Apart from the independence of the judiciary and constitutional requirements which are before courts, this appeal pertains to the rights of the Judiciary as a whole for fair trial, now and in the future.
kamal nissanka / December 14, 2012
A good statement
nortonP / December 14, 2012
MR will not listen to anybody. He thinks he is god
punchinilame / December 14, 2012
When a President thinks and acts in addressing a cream of Sri Lankan
intellectuals (Accountants) on the “ape minnihe” concept, what prevents
him lying to all Mahanayakes and the Villagers/Voters of the political
situation of the day?
His PSC was geared to an Astrological date of 8th – this caused the
downfall, with a pre-written Report to the Speaker, which are all the
work of the Presidential Staff and yet the President pretends he does
not know what happened!!!
Namal Chandraratne / December 14, 2012
Well he acts according to his conscience.One has to find out as to whether hehas a conscince. Oherwise he would have not siphoned off the Tsunami money meant for the poor victims of the tsunami, permitted the white van abductions, torture of the innocent like journalists Tissamayakam, being lavish with peoples money with Mihin air, taking large delegations abroad etc…..
Oh Danny boy / December 14, 2012
IF HE DOES NOT LISTEN GET HIM A HEARING AID AND SHOVE IT INTO HIS BIG EARS.
MALINI / December 14, 2012
So much has been said and I will touch on just one MATTER.
THE SUPREME COURT MUST NOTICE ALL CHIEFS OF THE STATE PRINT AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND SENTENCE THEM TO JAIL FOR DEVALUING THE MUCH RESPECTED POSITION OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE COUNTRY .
SARATH SILVA SENT S.B. DISSANAYAKE TO JAIL FOR SAYING A BALU THEENDUWA IN A VILLAGE WHERE ONLY A FEW KNEW BUT HERE THE CJ WAS TORN TO SHREDS BY ALL PAID HIRELINGS OF RAJAPAKSE.THAT RAJAPAKSE AS USUAL HIDES AND GETS THINGS DONE
Moda Simiyong / December 15, 2012
So true Malani Sarath Silva is the cause of all these problems. Take them to court and at ,least fine them.
More importantly , reverse some ridiculous judgements given by Sarath Silva
tissa fonseka / December 14, 2012
The apex courts in srilanka which comprise of highest learned indiviguals of law in the country has given the verdict by themselves that a militay court marshal is an accepted and equal tribunal where an impartial judgement will be delivered and as such a competent court of justice in the temple of law.If such is a possibility in srilanka ,What is wrong in accepting a verdict given by a parliament select commitee that consist of members that consist of members including grade eight qualified once rehabilitated youthful members of the society and proved wrong doers inthe court of justice for violating the finance regulations of the country. Well done srilanka!
Safa / December 15, 2012
The Judiciary of the Commonwealth has also commented on this episode.
“By its arbitrary actions and its failure to follow even its own Constitutional safeguards for the removal of judges, the Sri Lankan Parliament has seriously undermined independence of the Judiciary and called into question its adherence to the shared values of the Commonwealth, Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges Association President John Vertes said on Wednesday in a statement by a collective of Commonwealth legal associations.”
By its obduracy the govt is endangering its efforts to host CHOGM and even its membership of CG is at stake.
Sirisena Yatawara / December 15, 2012
The Rule of Law and legal Rules stretches over social life,the events of which are constantly crossed by the lines of Juridical rights and obligation.In the presnt circumantance of CJ corrupation charges of an important to assume a Certral legal and Moral-Disciplie aspect.
Thus aginst the varuios factes and acts of Judiciary ,intellectual intercouse and social realtion,arise series of facts and acts in Law on which depend the changes and evlouation of Undermine Intergrirty of Judicial fair paly by CJ.As Judicial and Law enforcment of highest position of CJ corruaption aligation and misused of power of Justice become complicated Rule Of Law ,problems now is concering people’s immerditae interest.
CJ charges has proved and edvident absued power of Judiciary and fail to fulfiled duties ,committing crime of corruption while enforcing law and even bending the law for CJ’S personal gain,which seriously damage the authority enforcemnt of RULE OF LAW IN OUR LAND.
This is serious committed crime by CJ as Principle Judge on Court of Law.
Public voice says Parliment Members are has been to LENIENT HOW IT TREATS ITS CORRUPATION CHARGES agiast CJ.Instead commit crime should be punished harshly,they again propsed new chance sholud be given another probe!
The Sentiment has intensified in past weeks,a period during which the actvities of CJ has obstructed Normal Judicial procudure and investigation drawing only minor profile and seen its President indicated a pardon becasue of interest of foreing pressure to lenient to the probe of against CJ’s corrupation charges.
The more democraticzed and transparenty gurrantee of country in against corrupation of Judiciary and present case has reveal of the cozy ties between Judiciary (CJ) and Busniess magnets to be address by Parliment without delay.In my opinion CJ’s corruaption has come very dangerous level of infulance System of Justice;a viewpoint that caught Justice of Rule of Law systematically influance by verious evil forces and individual influential figures scrape investigation of CJ.
On going charges against CJ an invesgation ensuring suffcient evidence of corrupation uncover crimes for her charges.
The debate over how to crub the corrupation of CJ has come to Public interest?
The Rule of Law should to be promated and judicial authority fully belived in law and consiciously used the law of discipline of code of conducts.We cannot accpect FARINESS AND JUSTICE FROM EVERY JUDICIARY CASE AND SHOULD NEVER ALLOW FAIR VERDITS FROM CJ IN PRESENT POSITION if she remain OF COURT OF LAW.WE SHUOLD NEVER ALLOW UNJUST JUDGEMENT INFRINGING RULE OF SOVERGNITY OF LAW AND RIGHTS OF LEGAL JUSTICE IN SRI LANKA BY WRONG DOING CJ SETTLEMENT OF LEGAL CONSEQUENCES.
Srinath Gunasekera / December 15, 2012
Though the PSC is questionable constitutionally in the appointment CJ went before it. She opposed the legality but was ready to answer the charges. What was the mighty hurry to finish the hearing? Why was she insulted? these were all prepalnned. I am sad that pro Government lawyers fail to see this. They are cutting their own grave by supporting the surrendering of the independance of the judiciary.
Ruwan / December 16, 2012
There is no deterrence between president and sakwithi as both allegedly use public money. Only question is why one is under trial and other one free….
Jayagath Perera / December 17, 2012
The PSC is no way a tribunal nor is there a provision for the appointment of a so called “tribunal”. Neither can the PSC say that it has found those who are respondents as guilty. Its mission is clearly stated in the constitution and the standing orders.
The Judicial Services Association should be more prudent in its pronouncements particularly when learned PC’s of the yesteryear who hails from a family of legal luminaries practiced for generations has clearly said that constitutionally there was no error. It looks that this kind of statement gives an indication that the judges in general have been bound by this kind of opinion and any reference to them for an impartial decision is a futility.
To the Opposition while there is nothing wrong in the stipulated mechanism the way that it has been handled is not good. The mechanism was devised by JR aided by HW. So it is the opposition, if they are in power can impeach judges using the same mechanism, fair or unfair. In reality for good 30 years or so there was no security of tenure of office.
I would have appreciated had the JSA told that the mechanism availed to superior court judges to defend themselves is inadequate at the moment and advocated a better mechanism, instead of trying to “interpret” the mechanism to gain security of tenure of office.